Vivienne Westwood’s show for her Red Label diffusion line opened with a tableau of stylishly dressed protestors carrying placards that bore slogans such as “Austerity is a Crime” and “Fracking is a Crime.” Westwood’s stand wasn’t a surprise, considering that last week the designer drove a tank to British Prime Minister David Cameron’s country home to protest against drilling for oil and gas.
The collection stuck to Westwood’s design signatures, with plenty of draped and corseted dresses, mannish tailoring and tartan. Westwood noted after the show that her clothes are a “different matter” from her politics. “I really don’t like to talk about fashion too much, it gets too pretentious and precious,” she said.
But in what could have been a nod to Westwood’s musings on austerity, there was a timeworn look to some of the designs, including retro tea and smock dresses with faded patterns.
The show closed with a clutch of historically influenced and corseted gowns. The collection didn’t break new ground, but its faded palette and feminine shapes offered a gentler take on the designer’s aesthetic.